America can no longer afford to have a political party that does nothing more that obstruct efforts to address our social, economic, public health and environmental challenges.
Every day, we see the consequences of the Republican Party's devotion to "do nothing." By "doing nothing," the GOP is actually eroding faith in government. At the same time, the GOP is encouraging what can only be referred to as corporate welfare.
Witness the latest insurance legislation passed by Ron DeSantis and the GOP majority in our state Legislature. Will Florida homeowners benefit?
The insurance industry makes off like a bandit with a couple of billion dollars of taxpayer money.
It's pay now and pay later for Florida homeowners. Insurance rates are skyrocketing because of extreme weather brought on by climate change, something the GOP won't allow to be addressed at any level of government.
Despite repeated government attempts to limit the sale of assault rifles or expand background checks, the GOP blocks every effort More evidence pours in every day on the negative effects of GOP misinformation regarding our country's response to the COVID pandemic, with death rates much higher in states with Republicans in control.
When are we going to wake up and vote them out?
Albert R. Matheny, Gainesville
National service needed
The political discussion over how to preserve gun rights while eliminating mass shootings seems to me to miss a key point and a key opportunity. Men 18 to 23 years old are responsible for most of the shootings. The 13 million young Americans in this group have many unmet needs that a voluntary universal national service program could address.
Such a program could allow everyone to choose how to serve their country, whether civilian or military. It could bring together young Americans of different backgrounds in common constructive purpose and provide useful job training.
This program could put resources into maintaining our state and national parks, building low-income housing, caring for vulnerable people and much of the other work that needs to be done if we want to make America greater.
Forgiving college loans helps this age group, but only those who attend college. AmeriCorps is a national service program, but only three out of every 10 people who apply are accepted, and it serves less than 1% of our young adults.
We need a program that accepts everyone in the age group that is interested and finds meaningful work for them to do.
Opportunities for young men to learn discipline, new skills and common purpose may do more to reduce gun violence than background checks and bulletproof school doors.
David Kennedy, Interlachen
Stop banning books
Taking away novels for ideas, words or scenes found offensive is like painting over "The Birth of Adam" on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel because Adam is naked.
The hallmark of every great civilization that we learn about is the free flow of knowledge and information in the societal realm. People may not agree sometimes, but ideas are discussed and debated in the public sphere in a civil discourse that moves society forward. We begin to end our American republic when we only embrace thought with which we agree and never hear voices of dissent.
We need books to represent a multitude of ideas and information.
They connect the past and present together; in addition, they promote empathy and understanding. To remove the books that Moms for Liberty are proposing to remove will leave a generation of malnourished minds in America; the knowledge and wisdom they contain are food for the soul.
Starving the young mind of books they find objectionable leaves them ill-equipped for life and at a significant intellectual disadvantage. Policing the reading material or television programs for your own children is certainly within their parental rights, but an outright ban or removal of said materials is certainly not conducive to a group promoting more freedom.
Christopher Pearl, Trenton
A recent discussion with my 10-year-old grandson brought to mind a book of essays by Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing.
On topics as diverse as books, guns (school shootings), cars (electric, hybrid, gas, hydrogen), lockdowns, pandemics (masks, zoom, vaccines), and religion, Ryan wondered at adult behavior in modern America.
What Lessing called "inherited structures of unquestioned beliefs" continue to cripple, confuse and endanger us.
The young do not live in the prisons we have chosen to live inside. We can act differently to stop the repeated disasters we create. The doors are open. The young are already outside. Let's join them.